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Love is in the air: Valentine’s Day budgets and preferences

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February is often known as the month of love – whether it’s romantic love, self-love, or friendship love. Since Valentine’s Day is a widely recognized and celebrated day around the world, it’s also become a multi-billion dollar industry as many spend hundreds on dates and presents. But with high inflation cost these days, will this change the way couples celebrate Valentine’s Day?

To learn more, we wanted to see how much Canadians will be spending this year on their loved ones and how they plan to celebrate. We also wanted to see if Canadians consider Valentine’s Day to be a real holiday. We asked 1,000 Canadians that are currently in a relationship to find out.

Love Is In The Air Valentines Day Budget And Preferences

All you need is love (and a budget)

With the day of love fast approaching, we asked Canadians if they consider it to be a real holiday. To our surprise, 69.9% don’t consider Valentine’s Day to be a real holiday. However, despite the majority not accounting for the 14th to be a real holiday, they still plan to celebrate their loved ones this month.

We asked respondents how much they plan to spend on Valentine’s Day this year – whether it’s on dates, presents, activities, etc. British Columbia residents plan to spend the most on Valentine’s Day, compared to the rest of the country – averaging about $129.43. The second biggest spenders on love are Quebec residents, who will be spending an average of $115.20. Albertans follow closely behind with an average of $111.66 and Ontarians in fourth with an average budget of $104.26. These four provinces are the only areas that plan to spend over $100.

The province that will be spending the least this year on Valentine’s Day is New Brunswick – $60.00. Perhaps New Brunswick residents will be spending most of their time at home with their loved ones, rather than going out this year. 

Teamwork makes the dream work

We asked our respondents a series of questions about their thoughts on Valentine’s Day dating etiquette, and what they plan to do to celebrate.

There’s always the controversial question of who should pay for the first date. In the spirit of the 14th, we asked the following question: “Should one person pay for the Valentine’s Day date or should they split the cost?” The majority (60.1%) believe that both parties should split the cost of a Valentine’s Day date. 

Following the last question, we then asked “Who should plan the Valentine’s Day date?” 70.5% believe that both partners should plan the date together, rather than separately or individually. 

The last question we asked was “What is your preferred Valentine’s Day activity?” 39.1% prefer a romantic evening at home – where they can share a special homecooked meal, movie night, etc. 31.2% prefer to go out for dinner, while 15.3% want to do an activity with their partner over a shared interest. Only 12.4% prefer a weekend getaway and 1.8% want to go out to a movie theatre. 

Honourable Mentions 

We filtered our respondents’ demographics by generation to see how much each generation will be spending this year on Valentine’s Day. 

The biggest spenders are those in the Silent Generation (1928-1945) – averaging about $333.33 total. The second biggest spenders are “Gen Xers” (1965-1980), who will be spending an average of $124.90. Baby Boomers (1946-1964) plan to spend about $100.66, while Gen Z (1997-2012) “Zoomers” will be spending $97.50. Millennials (1981-1996) will be spending the least this year – $97.05.

Methodology 

In January 2023, we surveyed 1,000 Canadians that are currently in a relationship, engaged, and married. The average age in years is 35.1. 58% of respondents were women, 39.3% of respondents were men, and 2.7% identified as non-binary.  

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